A force play is when a member of the defensive team is forced to leave their starting base (or time-of-pitch base) and move on to the next base because the hitter has become a runner. The hitter-runner or runner behind the player advances to their base which forces the player to move on to the next base – this base is known as the force base.
Which Base Has the Most Force Plays?
Runners on first base are susceptible to the most force plays as they are always forced to run to second base, since the hitter is always forced to run to first base when the ball is put into fair territory and not caught on the fly. When players are at second or third base, they’re only forced to advance when all of the bases before their time-of-pitch base are legally taken up by other runners and the hitter at bat has become a hitter-runner.
How Does a Player Get Put Out on a Force Play?
Any time that a player is off base, they aren’t safe and are therefore vulnerable to being put out by a fielder on the defensive team. To put out a forced runner, a member of the defensive team must tag the next base with the baseball in their hand before the runner reaches it. The only situation that this doesn’t apply to is if the defensive team force out a trailing runner, in which case the force play is removed and the remaining runners have to be tagged by the defensive team in order to be put out.